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Obama’s Green Energy Grave Yard

February 21st, 2014 No comments
Obama's Green Energy Graveyard. Base Graphic credit: Heritage Foundation. Modified Graphic, NetAdvisor.org® Staff.

Obama’s Green Energy Graveyard. Base Graphic credit: Heritage Foundation. Modified Graphic, NetAdvisor.org® Staff.

Obama’s Green Energy Grave Yard

original article written by Net Advisor

WASHINGTON DC. President Obama’s “Green Energy” plans have not exactly panned out. There have been at least 26 “Green Energy” bankruptcies under Obama. Of those 26 green energy bankruptcies, every one of them was financially backed by the Obama Administration.

“We’ll invest $15 billion a year over the next decade in renewable energy, creating 5 million new green jobs that pay well, can’t be outsourced, and help end our dependence on foreign oil.”

— Candidate Barack Obama pledged on Nov. 1, 2008 (Source: OC Register/ NewsMax PDF).

[1] Obama’s Green Energy Money Created Jobs – but in Foreign Countries.

President Obama revised the above 2008 statement and said that his 2009 stimulus would create 60,000 new solar industry jobs in 2009 and 110,000 by 2010. What the President left out is that many of those jobs would be created in low-wage producing foreign countries.

A 2010 report (p7) found that 17 of 25 companies that received ‘advanced energy tax credits’ already had operations in low-wage foreign countries, or planed to operate such in the future.

Obama’s Green Energy Jobs. Company location and number of green-energy factories.

  • Number of “green energy” plants in China (13)
  • Number of “green energy” plants in India (3)
  • Number of “green energy” plants in Mexico (2)
  • Number of “green energy” plants in Czech Republic (2)
  • Number of “green energy” plants in Brazil (1)
  • Number of “green energy” plants in Singapore (1)

Seventeen of the above twenty-two companies accounted for $406 Million of the $1.6 Billion Obama stimulus programs. The others reportedly had plans to set up operations OUTSIDE the USA in the future.

A good chunk of Obama’s green energy money seems to be much like the 2009 “Cash for Clunkers” program, where U.S. tax dollars helped people buy more foreign cars.

According to Reuters, under President Obama, the U.S. Department of Energy invested some $90 Billion in clean energy programs, and at least $813 million went to companies that went bankrupt. The ultimate losses may be revised based on what assets can be sold for in bankruptcy if any.

In a separate report, Reuters said that the “U.S. Department of Energy’s loan program for innovative technologies was created under the Bush Administration in 2005.” The creation of the program did occur in 2005, and George W. Bush was the U.S. President at that time.

We confirmed that the Republicans controlled all three branches of government in 2005 (Report, Point 6), however there was no funding authorized until four years later under total Democratic control (Report, Point 6) beginning with the Obama 2009 AARA stimulus. Thus, the media cannot pin these losses on the Bush Administration, as the then Congress nor Bush ever approved of any of the funding.

[2] List of Obama’s Bankrupt Green Energy Related Companies.

1. A123 Systems – The Washington Post reported on Sept. 12, 2012, U.S. taxpayers committed $263 Million to the company. Reuters said on Oct. 16, 2012, A123 Systems received $133 Million before filing for bankruptcy. President Obama touted A123 in 2011.

“There’s A123, a clean-energy manufacturer in Michigan that just hired its 1,000th worker as demand has soared for its vehicle components…companies like these are taking root and putting people to work in every corner of the country.”

— President Barack Obama said in 2011 (Source: Breibart).

On the very day A123 filed for bankruptcy, the Obama Administration gave the company nearly $1 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

“The Obama administration provided struggling battery maker A123 Systems Inc with nearly $1 million on the day it filed for bankruptcy, the company told lawmakers investigating its government grant.”

— Source: Reuters, Nov. 16, 2012

During its bankruptcy proceedings, A123 Systems was sold to China. Reuters also reported, “the battery maker (A123) can still draw $120 million under various government grants, according to court records.”

2. Abound Solar – The company reportedly received $400 Million in Obama loan guarantees in July 2010. By February 2012, the company cut 70% of its workforce. In the summer of 2012 the company filed for bankruptcy. CNN stated that “only” $70 Million (of taxpayer money) was lent to the company.

3. Azure Dynamics - PRI Newswire stated in August 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the company $5.4 million over four years. The company filed for bankruptcy about a year after receiving the Obama government loan.

4. Beacon Powerfiled for bankruptcy in October 2011 with a $43 Million loss to federal taxpayers. The company also revived $29 Million in state grants.

5. Cardinal Fasteners (wind energy related). Taxpayer loss $480,000. Sold to a German company during bankruptcy.

6. Compact Power, Inc. – received $115 million of Obama’s AARA stimulus in 2010. The lithium-ion battery company was to develop batteries for the new Chevy Volt. Compact Power went bankrupt about a year-and-a-half later.

7. ECOtality - As of November 3, 2012, the company “never earned any money and remains on the verge of bankruptcy after receiving roughly $115 million in two (federal) loan guarantees…”

By September 2013 ECOtality filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Washington Beacon reported that the company received $96 million of the $115 million in Obama commitments (stimulus). The company attempted to build electric vehicle charging stations to get 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. Keep drinking that Kool-aid if you think that can happen on $115 million.

8. Energy Conversion Devices (solar energy related). The publicly traded company lost 80% of its stock value to 30 cents before filing bankruptcy protection (Reuters, Feb. 14, 2012). The company reportedly received $13.3 Million in Obama stimulus. Energy Conversion’s parent company, United Solar Ovonic LLC also filed for bankruptcy protection. Both companies sought total liquidation rather than reorganization.

9. Evergreen Solar$58 Million potential loss to Massachusetts State taxpayers. The company closed its USA and EU plants but left the China plant open. The Heritage Foundation says taxpayer losses are $84.9 million.

10. Ener1 (EnerDel, subsidiary) - received a $118.5 million Obama stimulus grant, plus $80 million in state incentives. Company burned through about half of the taxpayer grant money before going bankrupt one year later. Ener1 was sold to a Russian company.

11. Fisker (automotive/electric) – received a $529 Million Obama loan but $193 Million was received. Company board members who were also top investors included Obama donors such as Vice-President Al Gore and John Doerr. The company was sold to China during its bankruptcy.

12. Konarka Technologies, Inc. - A report found that in 2010, the organic solar cell company raised $170 million from private investors and $20 million in federal grants. In June 2012, the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation. The company was a spinoff from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. One of the company’s co-founders was a Nobel laureate Alan J. Heeger. Just to let student readers know, there is often a difference between text-book theory and applied business reality.

13. MiaSolé – received $101.8 Million in “Section 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits” from the IRS. The solar film company was sold to a China for $30 Million.

14. Mountain Plaza, Inc.filed for bankruptcy twice. There was a previous conviction of 31 counts of theft in 2003 says Fox News Insider. The second bankruptcy came in June 2010 after a $424,000 stimulus award from the Tennessee Dept. of Transportation, who in turn received those fund as part of a $2 Million Obama EPA grant.

The company got the EPA “stimulus grant for electrical hookups so that truckers wouldn’t have to burn diesel fuel while resting.” Now here’s the funny part: The Nashville Business Journal reported that the company was awarded this green-energy stimulus money AFTER it filed for bankruptcy. This is kind of like putting a new heart transplant in a patient who’s already been dead and buried.

15. Nordic Windpower LLC. In July 2009, Nordic received a $16 million loan guarantee as part of the Obama stimulus. The two-blade wind-turbine maker breezed into bankruptcy in August 2013.

16. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Co. received $10 million to “…increase employment, add equipment and machinery, refinance existing debts and work capital for operations and acquire land.” The ethanol company later defaulted on a separate $60 million bank loan and filed for bankruptcy.

17. Range Fuels – was founded by a dot-com billionaire, who managed to obtain a $76 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy. Kids, billionaires still use other people’s money to invest. The company received another $80 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. After a major investor withdrew interest in the company, the Department of Energy ceased loaning money to the company. One month later, Range Fuels closed a factory, and then shortly thereafter filed for bankruptcy. The company was sold for $5.1 Million reports Dan Chapman at the Atlantic Journal Constitution.

18. Raser Technologies – reportedly received $33 million in a taxpayer-funded grant to build a power plant in 2010. Two years later, the company filed for bankruptcy.

19. Satcon Technology Corp – received two $3 Million in total Department of Energy (DOE) awards with reported $228,000 loss to federal taxpayers [Fox News (PDF), Oct. 18, 2012]. On Nov. 5, 2012, the Heritage Foundation reported the taxpayer loss was $17 million. The company filed chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2012.

20. SpectraWatt - received $500,000 from the Obama 2009 stimulus, plus another $150,000 from the National Science Foundation – a U.S. government agency one year later. This solar company went bankrupt the following year. SpectraWatt was a solar spinoff of Intel Corporation.

Why did the Obama Administration give $650,000 of taxpayer money to a spun-off company whose parent in 2009 made $35.1 billion in sales, and had $11 billion in cash? Good question. As much as Obama talked about how “Wall Street Greed” won’t be tolerated, as it turns out, Obama is the one feeding Wall Street with taxpayer money. Huffington Post article: President Obama is the “King of corporate welfare.”

On to more Obama’s corporate welfare bankruptcies.

21. Solar Millennium – had its U.S. unit file  for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2012. The parent company is based in Germany. No data found if tied to any U.S. taxpayer stimulus programs, but another failed green energy company.

22. Solar Trust of America - won a $2.1 Billion conditional contract from the U.S. Department of Energy. The company claims that they withdrew their government loan application prior to bankruptcy.

23. Solyndra – received $535 Million Obama AARA stimulus money in 2009. Two fundraisers were tied to Solyndra and the Obama 2008 campaign. The Obama Administration ignored three written financial risk warnings over two years about the company prior to releasing stimulus funds.

We obtained copies of 6 controversial Solyndra – Obama Administration emails:

  • 2009-02-22 email – Solyndra CEO suggests energy secretary help showcase company.
  • 2009-07-07 email – DOE staffer criticizes Chu for implying Solyndra has already won loan.
  • 2009-08-31 email – White House aide pushes OMB for final decision on Solyndra loan.
  • 2011-01-31 email – OMB staffers warn Solyndra rescue with public money is politically ‘risky.’
  • 2010-05-24 email – Obama donor warns White House about president visiting Solyndra.
  • 2010-12-07 email – Solyndra executives learn that the company is out of cash.

Solyndra filed bankruptcy in August 2011, and was later caught destroying millions of dollars worth of parts.

24. Stirling Energy Systems, Inc. – The company tried to capture energy from the sun using giant dishes that would supposedly power homes. The company received $7 Million from Obama’s stimulus program, plus $10.5 Million in potential tax credits. The company filed Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy in September 2011. For every one dollar in assets, the company reported $5-10 in debt.

25. Thompson River Power, LLC. - received a $6.5 million Obama AARA 2009 stimulus grant. Three years later, no jobs were created and the plants remained idle. The company filed for bankruptcy in July 2012. The DOE is trying to get the money back. Good luck with that one BO.

26. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group – received $700,981 (archived link) in federal government funding plus $10 Million in Ohio state loans. The state of Ohio may never recover those loans. We tried to get current info on the company’s website but there seems to be little activity. The website seems outdated. The last news was posted June 23, 2009. When clicking on the news that boasts new solar jobs, the page was 404 “not found” – and neither were the jobs. We did not see bankruptcy information on the company at time of post; however the Heritage Foundation said the company is in bankruptcy.

[3] Green Companies Operating in the Red Without Taxpayer Financing.

1. Coda Holdings Inc. (Automotive). The electric car maker, Coda filed for bankruptcy on May 1, 2013. Investors lost upwards of $300 million on this “no-frills styling” vehicle that also was impacted with an airbag recall. Investors included former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. The company sold just 100 electric cars (Reuters, 2013-05-01). Coda was sold to Fortress Investment Group, LLC. during its bankruptcy for $25 million. Bloomberg stated in May 2010, Coda applied for a $334 Million government loan, but withdrew the application about two years later.

2. LSP Energy – filed for bankruptcy on or about Feb. 10, 2012. We have no data that the company ever received any federal tax dollar assistance. We are just noting another “green” bankruptcy.

3. Uni-Solar – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on or about June 20, 2012. We have no data that the company ever received any federal tax dollar assistance. We are just noting another “green” bankruptcy.

[4] Other Green Companies Still in Business. Some OK, Some Struggling.

1. Bright Source - Google invested $168 Million and U.S. taxpayers invested $1.6 Billion in this alternative energy company. Bright Source withdrew its intent to become listed on an U.S. stock exchange. Instead, Bright Source is seeking to buy an unbuilt power plant from bankrupt Solar Trust.

2. First Solar – received a $4.5 Billion conditional loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. The company is publicly traded. As of February 21, 2014 First Solar’s enterprise value was $3.98 Billion. Thus in our view, the company received an Obama goverment loan that exceeded the value of the company. The company had some serious struggles but is still operating with some improvements.

3. Nevada Geothermal – received $98.5 million in Obama federal loan guarantees. Questions remain regarding its viability.

4. NextEra Energy Resources’s subsidiary, Genesis Solar, LLC – received $852 Million in taxpayer financing to build a 250 megawatt solar power plant to power some 48,000 homes. After construction, the plant is expected to support 47 operating jobs, which works out to be about $18.128 Million to create each permanent job.

5. Sun Power – was near bankruptcy in 2011. Sun Power received a $1.2 Billion U.S. taxpayer loan from the DOE. About a month later, Sun Power then sold itself to a French oil and gas company where stockholders received a 49% premium from one-day before the foreign buy-out.

“Less than a month after SunPower received the conditional commitment from the Obama administration, a French oil giant, Total S.A., bought majority ownership — 60 percent — of the company.”

— Source: Daily Caller, Oct. 11, 2011

There is nothing like securing a billion+ tax-dollars for your troubled energy company, only then to sell it to a foreign company for a boat load of money?

5. Speaking of billionaires, Optim Energy LLC., a power company owned by Bill Gates’ Cascade Investments filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on or about February 12, 2014. We have no data that the company ever received any federal tax dollar assistance.

[5] So far, Alternative Energy Produces More Bankruptcies Than Energy.

As the data shows, the Obama stimulus programs that supported corporate welfare for green energy projects have been a costly experimental guessing game at taxpayers’ expense.

In January 2014, the German government was planning cuts to government subsidies in renewable energy. Germany is also closing its nuclear power plants since the Fukushima accident in Japan.

primary_energy_use_by_source_2012(EIA.gov)

In August 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy (chart above) said that about 9% of our domestic energy comes from renewables, 8% from nuclear energy, and 81% from gas, coal and petroleum.

Very little energy produced in the USA comes from renewables. Solar doesn’t work when there are clouds, wind turbines don’t work without wind. In January 2014, a $2 Billion German wind-turbine company fell to bankruptcy as the project was just unsustainable, and almost no one wants to talk about the environmental risks of electric batteries.

[6] Green May Not be So Green After All – Study

In May 2009, the World Wildlife Foundation released a joint study with IZES – a German institute for future energy systems. CNET reported (PDF) on the study that found electric cars would only reduce greenhouse gases “marginally” or “0.1 percent” even if one million electric vehicles were on the road.

Now the funny part is to produce those electric batters takes a lot of energy, and the study found those plants are fueled by coal. The study also found that the manufacturing of electric cars created more carbon-pollutants (200 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer) than manufacturing gas-powered cars (160 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer).

A separate 1997 study by a leading agricultural expert at Cornell University said use of ethanol (burning corn) as an alternative energy was unsustainable waste of food-energy.

David Pimental, a leading Cornell University agricultural expert, has calculated that powering the average U.S. automobile for one year on ethanol (blended with gasoline) derived from corn would require 11 acres of farmland, the same space needed to grow a year’s supply of food for seven people.”

Professor Pimental continued:

“…70 percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in it…An acre of U.S. corn yields about 7,110 pounds of corn for processing into 328 gallons of ethanol. But planting, growing and harvesting that much corn requires about 140 gallons of fossil fuels and costs $347 per acre.”

— Source: Roger Segelken at Cornell University, posted to Health and Energy.com (PDF) (original source link)

We’ll set aside the costs of government ethanol subsides here. Despite its massive farm acreage waste, reduction of food for people, the U.S. has continued burning ethanol as a “green” fuel blend in vehicles. But don’t let facts, logic or studies get in the way of taking your tax dollars to support costly projects that may sound good, but when put to the test, looks more red than green.

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2012-10-31 Congressional Memo: “Update on Committee’s Oversight of the DOE Loan Guarantee Program: New Emails Show President Obama, Senior Administration Officials Misled American People about Role of President and White House in Program.”

Related Reports on Obama and Energy Policy:

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